CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Richard Sherman was called all kinds of names after his raging rant at the end of the NFC Championship Game. It was worth it, the Seahawks cornerback said, because it gave him a chance to talk about the perception of black athletes to a wider audience.
First, at the Super Bowl.
On Wednesday, at Harvard.
“I wanted to educate the uneducated,” Sherman said in a discussion at the Harvard Business School. “I felt the need to turn the discussion on its head.”
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Sherman was mostly known only by football fans before his admittedly overexcited postgame trash-talk about Michael Crabtree after the Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC title. As he became the center of attention during Super Bowl week, Sherman chose not to back down from the comments.
“I don’t regret anything about it,” he said, though he later conceded that it was a “bad moment.”
“I chose my words very carefully,” he said, “though I couldn’t control my tone. My delivery left something to be desired. But I knew what I was doing. When they called me a ‘thug,’ I provoked a discussion.”
That discussion took him to Harvard, along with former NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. They gave two talks, one at the business school that was supposed to be about social media that quickly veered into a discussion of race; the other, to undergraduates in historic Harvard Yard, was introduced as “The Modern Black Male Athlete.”
Both were packed with a standing-room crowd. A handful of attendees wore Seahawks jerseys or hats.
Sherman said he thought “thug” was just a more acceptable way of slurring black people; he’s never heard it used for whites or Asians, he said.
“If you call Richard Sherman a thug, you have never seen a thug,” Foster told the business school students, drawing a big laugh. “It just blew my entire mind.”
NEW YORK — There will be four prime-time games on opening weekend, starting with the Green Bay Packers at the Seahawks on Thursday night Sept. 4.
The Sunday matchup Sept. 7 features AFC champion Denver and Peyton Manning hosting his former team, Indianapolis.
On Sept. 8 is a Monday night doubleheader with the New York Giants at Detroit, followed by San Diego at Arizona.
The NFL will play three games in London: Dolphins-Raiders on Sept. 28, Lions-Falcons on Oct. 26 and Cowboys-Jaguars on Nov. 9. The Detroit-Atlanta game will kick off at 6:30 a.m. PT in an experiment to test the NFL’s audience draw on a Sunday morning.
A Saturday doubleheader in Week 16 has San Diego at San Francisco and Philadelphia at Washington.
• The Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract with running back Shaun Draughn.
• A judge in Phoenix sentenced Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Daryl Washington to a year of supervised probation for assaulting a former girlfriend who is the mother of his daughter.